December 1, 2020

Tabula Rasa- Fair, Partly Cloudy

I am now playing catch-up. These past few days have been a whirl wind, I hardly feel like they actually happened at all. On Tuesday 11-15, I woke up super early and headed out with my mom toward Kennestone for my PICC line placement.

I might mention now that this whole time the one thing I’ve been most nervous about was this damn PICC line. I was told they numbed the area the line is inserted on your arm, but you can still feel it travel up your vein toward your heart.

Sounds delightful, right? I march on. I had already registered for everything the week before, so the process was super painless. If I haven’t before, I want to take the time now to mention how wonderful all of the staff at Kennestone Hospital are.

I have never experienced such caring, thoughtful, and professional people anywhere, ever. So, I was already registered and just had to wait for them to call me back.

I brought along my book The Help by Kathyryn Stockett. I am currently at this moment in time still on chapter 1. My eyes would re-read the same sentence over and over. My mom’s questions of “are you nervous” and “you okay?” didn’t exactly help me loosen up, either.

Finally, a nice middle-aged lady with a friendly smile called my name. I would like to make up a name here or pretend she didn’t tell me, but I cannot recall for the life of me what this wonderfully nice nurse’s name was.

She takes me into a room and suddenly my heart begins to beat faster. THIS IS AN OPERATING ROOM!! I think she read my terror through my eyes because she comfortingly told me that all types of procedures were done in here, “don’t worry”. I asked her to explain to me exactly what they were going to do.

Just as she was about to talk, the tech assisting the doctor walked in. I saw stars. Or bluejays .. or whatever the hell you are supposed to see when a really hot guy enters the room. He had tattoos and the biggest smile you have ever seen. He shook my hand and immediately started talking to me as if we knew each other.

Yes, I know this is how he keeps people calm, and I know he would have talked to me the same should I have been a 50-year-old man standing there – but let me have my fantasy, damn it!

I immediately flip on my funny self (I do realize I may be a bit biased, but this is my blog). His name was Wes. I am ashamed that I remember Mr. Tattoo’s name and not nice nurse.

I digress, the pair of them put me into immediate ease and before I know it they have me laying on an operating table and wrapped in warm snuggly blankets. This operating room was freezing, so as not to breed germs I am assuming.

There is some sort of southern rock playing in the back ground and Wes is asking me questions about where I’m from and throwing in “PC” curse words like Damn and Shit. Probably to make himself seem cool while relaxing the patient at the same time. Who cares, it worked.

The doctor (again, forget the name) comes in and he’s very easy going and informative. Starts calling me darling and sweetie while speaking in soothing tones.

Explained that I would feel the needle in the sensitive part of my upper arm, but that would be the most painful part of the procedure, he promised. “A quick pinch” he says and I wince as a hot poker is pushed into my arm.

Okay, not a hot poker, more like a very angry bumble bee. The doctor and his crew are still talking to me about all kinds of random things such as the town I was born in and my name. I feel my arm jerking back and forth then begin to feel like a string is being flossed through the inside of my arm.

My heart starts to beat really fast and I feel this flutter in my chest. I ask them what was going on and if I could see the monitor.

They eagerly show me the monitor and explain what is going on. I saw the line as it neared my heart and my heart do these little spasms. It was cool and horrifying at the same time. Then it was over.

They put a dressing on the actual wound and put a net over the ports to hold them in place. My instructions were to not get it wet, because infection could set up “really quick”.

That was it – it was done. The beautiful bracelets below are from the PICC line insertion and the other one is for the blood bank, I had 4 on my arms before I left the hospital.

The pic below is one with the netting to hold the PICC lines in place and one without so you can see detail – sorry. Pardon the long winded-ness of this post.

Pain medication makes me a bit chatty. Stay tuned for details regarding my colon cleanse! You don’t want to miss that!!

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